January: Creative Contemplation

The goal of contemplative practices is to develop deep intimacy with God, but sitting still and silently meditating isn't the only way to do that. Our unique gifts, talents, heritages, and cultures all contribute to how we uniquely draw near to God. So, to celebrate this (and hopefully inspire you to contemplate more creatively), each month we'll post a different piece of art along with some reflecting questions.

Some months this will be a song, a poem, a painting, a video, or a sculpture. Some months the piece will resonate deeply with you, some months it may upset you, and some months it may confuse you. Lean into whatever feelings the piece stirs up and allow it to draw you nearer to God's heart and expose your own. 

This month’s Creative Contemplation practice is a prayer taken from a book of liturgy called Every Moment Holy. A student of mine (Caroline) gifted me this gorgeous book full of prayers to help acknowledge the holiness of every moment, both spectacular and mundane. One of the prayers in this book is the one below – A Liturgy for the Labors of Community.

I found the words of this liturgy so fitting as we embark on a new year, full of ideas and desires about what we want for the year ahead. The leadership team in The Abbey is using this liturgy as we plan and pray for the year ahead. Leaders (within The Abbey and without), you’re invited to use this liturgy within your community. And all members of The Abbey, may the poetic and piercing words of this liturgy help shape your heart’s desire for the year to come.

Read this silently or aloud, alone or in community, as often as you’d like, but especially as you prepare to labor with the Lord.

You’re invited to read the liturgy right here on the page, or by clicking on the liturgy, you can download it for use offline.